Associated British Ports’ (ABP) 4.5MWp Port of Barry Solar Farm has been officially opened by Vale of Glamorgan politicians Alun Cairns MP and Jane Hutt AM.

The ceremony took place on Tuesday 11 August and marks another significant milestone for ABP South Wales which has been investing in environmentally friendly renewable energy projects at all five South Wales ports.

When operating at peak voltage the solar array will generate enough energy to boil 1.5 million kettles a day. The annual power production will be the equivalent required to power 2000 homes. It was commended by Alun Cairns MP and Jane Hutt AM after a tour of the site.

Matthew Kennerley, Director of ABP South Wales, believes ports have a key role to play in the production of green energy.

He said: “The solar array at Barry is the latest renewable energy project completed by ABP South Wales. It is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of the port and make it more competitive. We are committed to the environment and are continually thinking about how we can integrate the latest renewable energy technology into our port operations.”

The energy generated by the solar array will go towards powering port operations with surplus energy exported to the national grid. The Port of Barry contributes £231 million to the local economy every year and supports over 3,000 local jobs. In 2014 the port handled over 400,000 tonnes of cargo.

The solar array has completely transformed a 20-acre section of brownfield port land. Due to its discreet location the best view is from aeroplanes flying to and from Cardiff Airport.

The 14,904 solar panels were installed by the Solar Division of British Gas, who completed the work between March and June 2015. ABP South Wales also worked with ExCAL to develop the solar farm site.

Plans to extend the solar farm to 5MWp are already underway and the project has also been shortlisted for a Wales Green Energy award in the Outstanding Renewable Energy Project Category